Ok, I admit I didn’t make that up. Our local florist has that on their sign and I thought it was so clever! But it also fits what I wanted to talk about today. During rough economic times (be it now or another time) I often find people struggling to keep up with their natural healing program. But you don’t need to be “on a budget” to watch what you are spending, either. Making wise economic choices is always a good practice – no matter what your status is.
Health insurance does not usually pay for the vitamins and herbs, sometimes it is because the organic milk costs double what the “hormone laden” milk costs and it is hard to keep doubling one’s grocery bill when the budget is so tight.
However, there are many things a person can do to reduce their budget and still keep eating and healing in a natural way.
1. Use herbs and sprouts instead of expensive vitamins: Green herbal teas like Nettles, Alfalfa and Peppermint are laden with minerals and vitamins. Drinking a cup of greens every day is better than a multivitamin. Additionally, sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals and are also very inexpensive to grow. If you can have tea and sprouts daily you do not need to purchase multi-vitamins. If you or a family member are taking vitamins for a certain condition you can plan your teas according to which nutrients they need the most. You can find a lot of this information online by searching under the name of the nutrient you need and the words, “herbal sources”.
2. Get “back to basics” in cooking: I find that when I’m not worried about money I may pick up those granola bars, boxes of cereal, canned organic soups and my favorite – ready-made Indian foods. However, making things from scratch is still the least expensive and healthiest way to eat. And it does not need to be hard. Some of our favorites are also very budget-friendly. We love to make brown rice and then add our own toppings. I set cheese, greens, stir-fry veggies, and various toppings on the table and we make our own “rice sundaes”. Yesterday I put some potatoes and a few other ingredients in the crock pot and we had a savory stew in the evening.
3. Prioritize your organic purchases: In an ideal world everything we purchase would be organic. However, local organic resources are expensive and belonging to a buying co-op is not an option for everyone. During the weeks when budgeting is tight prioritize the items that benefit your family the most: organic milk, eggs, and meats. These three items are the ones that contain some of the worst pollutants when it comes to “regular” food standards.
4. Being vegan or vegetarian is also a good option: Being vegan or vegetarian means that you can forgo the expensive milk, eggs and meat too. Even if you are not interested in a vegetarian lifestyle, “going veggie” every once in awhile is a wonderful detox for yourself and your family. It also allows your family to discover new foods and new ways of cooking and eating.
5. Learn what herbs can substitute for your expensive herbs: Are you using herbs that are costing you a lot of money? Echinacea, Goldenseal and many Bowel Cleansing Formulas are very expensive. So are many other herbs and herbal formulas. Go online or to your local store and look at the least expensive herbs, then go online and search for what those herbs do. I can always find an herb that is less expensive when I am doing healing work. For example, the best bowel cleanser & detoxer around is still psyllium husks. These have been used for thousands of years in India and the east and they are still superior and safe enough to use daily. You can purchase a large container or these for only $7.50 at the local health food store or online.
6. Make your own tinctures: There is nothing magical about a tincture. You can make your own “gypsy tinctures” from any herb (see our free video HERE) and store it in your refrigerator for 3-6 months. Use honey or glycerin to make the syrup/tincture tasty. The added bonus? Glycerin actually extracts herbal properties more effectively than alcohol does. The only time I purchase those expensive little tincture bottles at the store is when I am travelling or I need to keep something in my purse.